Introduction to Green Screens and Virtual Sets
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Introduction to Green Screens and Virtual Sets

Learn to use professional streaming techniques to improve your look on camera.
4.2 (7 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
699 students enrolled
Created by Mr Paul Richards
Last updated 4/2017
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Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
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  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 2 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Use Virtual Sets and Virtual Backgrounds for live streaming
  • Use Virtual Sets and Virtual Backgrounds for webinars and video conferencing
  • Understand how to use a green screen effectively
View Curriculum
  • You will need to know how to set up a green screen

This course will help students set up and use green screens for live broadcast and streaming. The course will start with tips on setting up effective green screens for video backgrounds. We will discuss lighting, tuning your camera and selecting backgrounds. We will then segway into use cases for various industries including: Finance/Banking, Sales/Marketing, Education and Churches.

The course will then discuss the use of virtual sets. We will include a set of free virtual sets which can be used in live production software such as: vMix, Wirecast and NewTek TriCasters. The course will also include an interview with the CEO of Virtual Sets Works who will discuss the various use cases we are seeing in the live streaming and broadcast markets. We will discuss how you can customize virtual sets to create branded scenes for live streaming and best practices on using them to create professional broadcasts. Finally we will include a live virtual set demo from the 2016 NAB show in Las Vegas.

Who is the target audience?
  • If you are interested in live streaming
  • If you are interested in virtual sets
  • DO NOT take this course if you do not have a green screen
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Curriculum For This Course
12 Lectures
Introduction to Green Screens and Virtual Sets
2 Lectures 22:01

This video is an introduction to what you can expect to learn about green screen and virtual set productions.  Paul discusses the software and skills you will need to complete this course.

Preview 03:51

7 Green Screen Tips for a perfect picture

  1. The Green Screen itself!

    1. Background should not reflect light! Reflections change the shades of green. Ideally it should be a flat color and evenly lit.

    2. Diffusing lighting is ideal! Be careful for reflections of light

  2. Location of green screen and camera

    1. Average 2’ off of the ground for green

      1. Stand up would be all the way to the ground

    2. Ideally green screen will be 4’ behind you to remove shadows and issues

    3. Camera location - Sitting at least 3-4’ away from the camera to avoid lighting issues

  3. Lighting should be even.

    1. Perhaps the most critical aspect of a good green screen layout

    2. Watch out for lighting that is only down facing. Try adding light directed toward your subject and green screens

    3. LEDs today can provide wonderful light spectrums and colors

    4. Diffused lighting is best. Be careful for lighting that

  4. Camera Tuning

    1. Start with a perfect white balance

    2. Hue is perhaps the most powerful tool for removing stray pixels in your virtual background

    3. Use focus to make your talent in focus and allow the green screen to be out of focus

  5. Adjust your software settings

    1. Once you have done your best to set up all the physical aspects of your green screen use software settings as a final tuning process

  6. When all else fails try darker background image or video to hide stray pixels

  7. Optimize your image

    1. Crop out edges you don’t need

    2. But leave plenty of room for your arms to stretch out… You don’t want your arms getting cut off during your presentation!

Extra Content:


Adding a green screen to your webinar can take your talent anywhere they need to go. Live streaming and webinar technologies are so easy and affordable, it’s worth looking into a few simple additions to your workflow that can increase the professionalism of your videos. In this eBook, we will review how you can easily use today’s technology to add a green screen which can transform our message and presentations just like the professionals on TV! Simple additions such as lower thirds, virtual sets and video overlays can make your next webinar at hit viewers will want to share on social media and keep coming back for more!

What you can do with a green screen

When I refer to “talent” I am talking about the person or people who are hosting your live stream / webinar. The talent video input is perhaps the most important element to your live stream. You want to make sure you have ideal lighting on your subjects and make sure the green screen you purchase allows your talent enough room to make their planned presentation.

Green screens allow you to take your talent layer and put them almost anywhere in the world including virtual sets which we will talk about in detail in this eBook. When you are choosing a virtual set for 1-2 people at 10’x10’ size should cover both subjects when they are sitting at a table. Most green screens come with a tripod system which allows the green screen to drape behind your talent. It is important to get a good camera view of your talent ideally 12-16 feet away and zoomed in to crop out all non-green surfaces (you can also do cropping digitally).

Once you have a good camera shot of your talent with the green screen backdrop you can start to add your chroma-key. You may find that your chroma-key works perfectly digital, or you may need to add additional light to the green screen to even the shading. Either way once your chroma-key has been tweaked you can start overlaying your talent video layer over various backgrounds, videos and virtual sets.

Backgrounds, videos and virtual sets

Now the fun begins. What background will work best for our next webinar? Virtual Sets are the most diverse and flexible backgrounds because they allow you to place the talent in front of a ideal background and behind a ideal foreground. For example you might place your talent at a in front of a modern lobby with a modern desk in front of them. There are many version of virtual sets that can place your talent in almost any background/foreground combination for a seamless transportation to the ideal scenery for your next webinar. PTZOptics has 19 free virtual sets that we offer with our cameras for free which are focused on providing industry specific scenes such as: Classrooms, Conference Rooms, Modern Office Spaces, Houses of Worship, Inspirational Scenes and more.

Virtual Sets are easy to use and customize. Some virtual sets even include a virtual LCD monitor / additional input space content. Therefore you can have your talent in the modern lobby and their PowerPoint in a LCD. This is very popular in modern television for broadcast where a LCD TV or Pop-Up box is included with supporting content for the talent. These layers can easily be controlled in software such as vMix which simply provides a drop down menu for selectable inputs. Personally I like to connect my iPad to a virtual LCD and use annotation to make my point more clearly. You can also use a “merge” effect to pull a intro video into a virtual LCD at the beginning of your webinar.

Using backgrounds and videos are easier than virtual sets. You can simply overlay your chroma-key talent layer over a picture or video set on loop to provide a simply clean background. This is ideal for removing any potentially distracting or simply boring content from behind your talent. There are various “room animations” you can use to place your talent in front of a scenic background with a little movement. There are busy city backgrounds, quiet retreats and even animated rooms which feature floors/ceilings with realistic light rays and more…

Preview 18:10
Course Files
1 Lecture 02:30

This video introduces you to the course files you will be provided with for this course.  Paul reviews these files and opens them in their respective programs giving you a preview of how you will be using them later in this course.

Preview 02:30
Building Virtual Sets and Virtual Backgrounds
2 Lectures 11:55

This video shows you the dynamic differences between virtual sets and virtual backgrounds.  Paul will discuss the details of each file and how both can be implemented to suit your specific needs.

Preview 05:51

In this video, Paul takes you through step by step how to create a virtual background and a virtual set. You will be using Adobe After Effects to complete your virtual background and Adobe Photoshop to create a virtual set.  You will also learn a few tips and trick to customize and adjust your virtual set or background.

Building and Customizing Virtual Sets
Interview with CEO of Virtual Set Works
3 Lectures 24:17

This is a great introduction to using green screens for live streaming and video conferencing. In this video we interview CEO of Virtual Set Works, Eric Pratt, to learn tips on how to set up green screens. 

Preview 10:00

As you know we are heavy green screen / virtual set users. We use a virtual set for our live shows on Friday on YouTube Live and many of our videos. You may have seen that we just built an in house studio, but we haven’t stopped using a green screen. In fact, we are starting to use a multi-camera, multi-set layout for our live show and I this week was the first time we used a multi-angle virtual set.

Before we start explaining our setup I wanted to give credit to Virtual Set Works who’s virtual sets we are using in this demonstration. We are also using vMix to bring in the virtual sets and do the panning and zooming. We have been using vMix virtual sets from Virtual Set Works from a long time and this particular virtual set is from the Virtual Set Works: Volume 7 package. The process of setting up these virtual sets with multiple angles simply involves adding two or more inputs as virtual sets.

As you can see from the picture below our vMix preset has two different virtual sets with different angles to allow us to transition between these virtual sets. So let’s start with what a virtual set is. A virtual set is a background and foreground with your “talent” video which is a camera input that has a “Chroma Key” applied. A chroma key is usually used with a green or blue screen and is applied to a camera input that has your subject in front of the well lit colored background. The biggest problem our users have with virtual sets and virtual background is usually lighting for the set. Chroma Key technology is very accurate as long as your camera image is accurately portraying the content.

Preview 04:17
Applications in Marketing
1 Lecture 03:02

Greens Screens and Virtual sets are what complete a perfect marketing video. This video will show you how you can use these in your next micro-stream as well as show you the equipment and requirements necessary to use a green screen with virtual sets.

Using Green Screen and Virtual Sets for Marketing Videos
Using Green Screens during a webinar
2 Lectures 09:56

This video gives a how to lecture with walk through examples on how to use your green screen and virtual sets effectively.  Paul will go through the various settings and show you how to adjust them and even add layers of effects to your video.  If you are a beginner learning how to use virtual sets this is a good place to start and watch as Paul goes through all of the general features and demonstrates how to use them and what they will look like in a final product.

Preview 05:09

Paul discusses the new Zoom support for green screen use in your day to day video conferences.  He also demonstrates some of the exciting things you can now do with Zoom Pro, and how you can set up virtual sets for your own Zoom account. 

Zoom Video Conferencing adds Virtual Background Support
Live Demo at NAB
1 Lecture 02:29

This demo was actually live streamed from Las Vegas at the 2016 NAB Show. This video demonstrates what we talked about earlier: how important lighting and direction of your subject matter to your virtual set.  Paul & Matthew Richards demonstrate how to use virtual sets live at the NAB 2016 show. Virtual sets are a great way to make any space look professional with a green screen and chroma key technology. In this video, we demonstrate "Virtual Classroom" and Virtual "House of Worship" layouts.

Virtual Set Demo at the NAB Show 2016
Final Quiz
0 Lectures 00:00

A test on what you have learned about Green Screen Technology.

Green Screen / Chroma Key Best Practices
5 questions
About the Instructor
Mr Paul Richards
4.2 Average rating
328 Reviews
7,391 Students
16 Courses
Chief Streaming Officer

I am a Live Streaming Expert and Chief Streaming Officer for PTZOptics. PTZOptics is an industry leader in affordable live streaming technology. We host a live show on YouTube Live every Friday and we hope to help the world better understand live streaming and technology it takes to produce amazing video content! 

I host a live show on YouTube Live called "PTZOptics Live" where we review the latest in the live streaming and video conferencing industry. This is the basis of our live streaming innovation where you can learn quite a lot of about the industry. 

I have been working in the audio visual industry for 10+ years employed at: Haverford Systems, Conference Room Systems and PTZOptics. Each of these companies have kept me involved in designing, building and operating live streaming and video conferencing systems. Throughout my career continue to help others in video communication projects.